Styrian Grand Prix – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo lost out on two positions on the final lap, having been divebombed by Lance Stroll into Turn 3.
Ricciardo started the race from P8, and was the highest placed driver to start the race on the Medium compound tyre.
As the first stint progressed, the longevity of those tyres started playing to his advantage and he began moving up the order. This included a feisty little duel with teammate Esteban Ocon, who had started on the Softs.
Ricciardo pitted on Lap 37 to switch to the Softs, and initially looked set for a possible P5 finish. However, he was passed by the recovering Sergio Perez as the Softs started to fade. Entering the final lap, Ricciardo came under attack from the other Racing Point with Lance Stroll right behind. The Canadian dived up the inside into Turn 3 and pushed the Renault driver wide to steal the place.
McLaren’s Lando Norris latched on to the opportunity and also got past the Renault driver, with Ricciardo relegated to P8 at the flag. The incident between Stroll and Ricciardo was investigated by the stewards at the end of the race, but was deemed a racing incident.
“We certainly hoped for more today.” said Ricciardo. “I had a good start and made some decent progress up the order. The Mediums felt good on our first stint, but when we put the Soft on it wasn’t as quick as we’d hoped, and it didn’t really give us as much as we’d thought.”
“The end of the race was frustrating, and I was struggling to hold on to the position on the last couple of laps.” continued Ricciardo. “On the incident, I did see Stroll coming but I felt if I turned in, we would have crashed, so I had to make that call. I maybe should have blocked him and it’s a shame to lose a couple of positions from that one moment. The overriding feeling is frustration, but we’re up and running for the season now.”